Coming Great Tribulation
Telecast Date: December 27, 1983
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   The World Tomorrow. The Worldwide Church of God presents Herbert W. Armstrong, internationally recognized ambassador for world peace, visiting prominent leaders around the globe, discussing the cause of world problems, and proclaiming the good news of The World Tomorrow. Ladies and gentlemen, Herbert W. Armstrong.

   Nuclear world war leading to Armageddon and the end of this world definitely is prophesized. And for this present living generation, the very imminence of nuclear world war is causing millions to think as they never thought before. Now, just how real is that threat? Only God Almighty can tell us; there is only the one authority, and that is God Almighty. And the Bible, the book called the Holy Bible, has been proved to be the word of God. That is the book that is the world's greatest seller. It's in more homes, in more libraries, in more places, hotels all over the world than any other book. And yet it is the least read and absolutely the least understood.

   Let me read you what Jesus Christ himself said. It's recorded in the 24th chapter, Matthew. Jesus had been in the temple in Jerusalem and showing his disciples the buildings of the temple and telling them that even in their lifetime, the temple was going to be destroyed. And later, He was sitting up on the mount of Olives. Now I'm beginning with verse three (Matthew 24:3), a little later as Jesus sat upon the mount of Olives, his disciples came to him privately saying, "Tell us when shall these things be and what shall be the sign of thy coming and of the end of the world." That is the one place in the Bible where this phrase, the end of the world, is used. And Jesus answered that question, but He had been talking about the destruction of the temple that was to occur in their lifetime. And it did occur in the year of 70 A.D., but these disciples thought that the end of the world was going to come at that same time, they thought it would come in their lifetime. And so, they asked him the second question because they thought it would occur at the same time.

   "What will be the sign of your coming is coming back, the second coming, coming back to earth and the end of the world, the end of this world, this age." And Jesus answered and said unto them, first He answered their first question of when the temple would be destroyed. And He said, "Take heed that no man deceive you", (Matthew 24:4). He was talking to them in their lifetime for many shall come in My name saying that I am Christ and shall deceive the many. That was in their lifetime, that many would come even in their lifetime, professing to be ministers of Jesus Christ, saying that Jesus is the Christ and yet deceiving the many.

   And He said, "You shall hear of wars, rumors of wars; see that you be not troubled for all these shall come to pass, but the end is not yet" (Matthew 24:6), the end of the world that would come in their lifetime. But that wouldn't be the end of the world that was going to come later." Now in verse 14 (Matthew 24:14), He came to their second question, and He said, "This gospel of the Kingdom, the gospel, he was preaching, the Kingdom of God shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall the end come, the end of the world." That gospel is being preached by this program. And it is a witness to all of the nations on the face of the earth because it's being preached in every continent and in most parts of this world today.

   Now, a little further, when He comes down to the time near the coming of Christ, in verse 21 (Matthew 24:21), He says, "For then, at that time," that is coming down to our time and our generation as I will show you later, "For then shall be great tribulation, that is world trouble, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time no nor ever shall be, and except," He said, "except those days should be shortened, unless that trouble is cut short, unless those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved alive. But," He said, "for the elect's sake, those days shall be shortened."

   In other words, it's going to come the worst time of trouble all over the world, international trouble that has ever occurred in the history of mankind. But for those that God has called His very elect to cry out to Him day and night, the ones who are living according to God, who are walking in their daily lives with God, for their sake, He's going to stop it before all humanity is blotted out of existence because the weapons of mass destruction now exist that can blast all human life off the face of this planet. It is going to be this great tribulation is called here, the worst time of trouble the world has ever known, and it will be nuclear war, millions and billions perhaps are going to be killed and blotted out in the terrible time of nuclear war that is just ahead of us now. And it's about time we wake up and realize the time we're living in, for the elect's sake those days are going to be short, and you can be one of the elect. It does not need to come near you. I will explain later how you can escape this whole thing.

   But coming to verse 29 (Matthew 24:29-30), He says, "Now, immediately after the tribulation of those days, which God himself is going to cut short before all mankind is destroyed, "shall the sun be darkened? The moon shall not give her light, and the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven, and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man, that is Christ, coming in the clouds in power and great glory", coming as the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, to rule over every nation on the face of the earth. But yet most of the people in those nations are going to be destroyed by the very inventions of man himself. Man is building the weapons that can destroy the very men that build it.

   Now, back in Ezekiel 6 and verse 6 (Ezekiel 6:6), you will read of this time, "In all your dwelling places", and that is speaking of our people, "the cities shall be laid waste". That is speaking of the United States, Canada, Britain, the English-speaking people. You know, you might wonder where are the English-speaking people of the United States? Britain, Canada, where are we mentioned in the Bible? And what do the Bible prophecies say about us and what is going to happen to us in this living generation? You need our special booklet, "The United States and Britain in Prophecy" and what is prophesied to happen to us? In the Bible, it's time you wake up, it's time, time you know what is prophesied because you don't hear much about biblical prophecy and what you hear is fake and it's false and it is not true because they don't understand the word of God. And I say that with authority.

   "Now, in all your dwelling places", that is speaking of our people, "the cities shall be laid waste, and the high places shall be desolate, and your altars may be laid waste". And that is in the churches that they have all around the whole Western world and made desolate. And it's a time when He says that you, then speaking of His people, will begin to know that He is God, that He is the Lord.

   A false Jesus has been preaching in this world. Your Bible says in Revelation, the 12th chapter, and in verse nine (Revelation 12:9), "that all nations have been deceived", and much false teaching is going out. There's much false teaching about a tribulation. There's much false teaching going out about a rapture theory of Christ coming.

   Now, there are two passages, however, in the New Testament that do tell us definitely that those that are in the one true church of God, they are going to be protected, those who do have the spirit of God and are being led by the spirit of God, those who are growing in biblical knowledge and in God's grace, those who are overcoming and whose lives are being constantly changed and are hungry and thirsting for and receiving God's righteousness. They are going to be protected. You could be among them.

   In Revelation 12 (Revelation 12:5-6), it had been speaking here of the nation Israel, ancient Israel and coming to the time of the birth of Christ. And it speaks of her as a mother and Christ, as the child being born as He was out of ancient Israel. And then it says that "she brought forth a man-child", which is the birth of Christ "who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron, and her child was caught up under God and to his throne". That is the coming of Jesus, his ministry, his crucifixion, his resurrection, and being caught back up to heaven. All included in that one little short verse.

   Then the woman, now it's the New Testament woman or the church, "fled into the wilderness". And this did happen in the middle ages where she had a place prepared of God "that they should feed her there for thousand two hundred and threescore days" or a day was a year being fulfilled in this prophecy, and it meant 1,260 years that did happen in the middle ages. The church was persecuted. The church was a small church that kept the Commandments of God and had the faith of Jesus. They were persecuted by a large church that was merely the old Babylonian mystery religion, having now taken up the name of Christ and calling themselves Christian, and they were persecuted and had to flee and had to meet underground for their services for 1,260 years in the middle ages.

   Now, then after that happened, coming down to our time, there is was and speaks in the past tense of what is really a future war in heaven (Revelation 12:7). "Michael and his angels". Michael is one of the three great Archangels, "Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and the dragon fought and his angels and prevailed not". Now, who was the dragon? Just a moment. It says right here "and prevailed not, neither was their place found anymore in heaven, and the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent called the devil and Satan, that deceive the whole world". He was cast out of heaven to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And when the dragon, which is the devil, saw that he was cast in into the earth, he persecuted the woman. And that is the God's true church, the one true church. He persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child and to the woman of the church" (Revelation 12:13).

   Now, that is the one true church (Revelation 12:14). "To the woman who were given the two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time". Or in this case, three and 1/2 years, a 3 1/2 year period. And that is the period of the great tribulation, which was due to last for the 3 1/2 years. In other words, she will escape the great tribulation, and she is there protected from the face of the serpent. So, the true church is going to be taken to a place of safety. But here on this earth, there is no place where it says they will be taken to heaven. No man has ascended to heaven. There is no promise anywhere in the Bible and no statement that any humans are ever going to go to heaven. But Christ, who is in heaven at His Father's throne, is going to come down from there to the earth. There's been so much false preaching.

   The Bible is a coded book. Very few seem to understand it. It has been so little understood. God help us then to come to understanding, but a good understanding of all they that do His Commandments. And how can the churches understand when they claim that God's Commandments are done away? They confuse the Commandments of God and the law of God with the law of Moses. And that's something altogether different. The law of God, the Commandments of God, are a spiritual law, not a physical law. They are the way of righteousness. They are the way to peace, to happiness. And the only reason that we're having trouble on the earth. The only reason that this kind of hellish thing is going to happen, that all humanity would be blotted out if God didn't stop it, is because people are living the wrong way, and the right way of life is the way of the law of God.

   And I want to tell you, God have mercy on them. But the preachers in this world are telling you that the law of God is done away. They are deceived, and deceiving, I believe they're deceived. I'm not accusing them. But I'm stating to you the truth. This whole world has been deceived. The real culprit is Satan the devil, not those who are deceived. I feel sorry for them, but I hope that you will have your eyes opened.

   And there's one other place where this whole thing is mentioned, Revelation 3 verses 10 and 11 (Revelation 3:10-11). And this is speaking of the church at this time just before the great tribulation. It says, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience." In other words, kept God's Commandments and follow the Bible, "I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the earth, to try them that dwell upon the earth." Now, marginal readings of most Bibles, showing you the real meaning of the original Greek in which that was written, says, "the great tribulation," the hour of temptation, or from the great tribulation. That is what it is talking about. Then Jesus says after that, "Behold, I come quickly." So, it's just before His coming, He's coming quickly after this, "Hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take thy crown."

   And so there is another promise that those in the true church are going to be protected. Now, after the great tribulation, I want to read you what is said in the book of Revelation in the sixth chapter (Revelation 6:12).

   Now, at that time, John on the Isle of Patmos, in vision, seeing what is going to come on the earth, telling what he saw. He says, "I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal." That's immediately after the great tribulation, "and lo, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as a sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood, and the stars of heaven fell under the earth". You see the same thing that was mentioned in Matthew 24. I just read it to you, "even as a fig tree casts off her untimely figs when she is shaken with a mighty wind, and the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and every island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great man, and the rich man, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains and said to the mountains and to the rocks, Fall on us and hide us from the face of him that sits on the throne for the day of his wrath is come." That is the day of the last plagues that will follow the great tribulation. Immediately after the tribulation of those days, I read to you in Matthew 24, Jesus said these very things would happen. Now, that's going to happen.

   And then what, then you come to the seventh chapter of Revelation (Revelation 7:1). And it says here, "And after these things, I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, having the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the East having the seal of the living God. And he cried with a loud voice to the four angels to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees." In other words, don't let these plagues fall till I see until we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads."

   Now, I heard the number, see, and it was 144,000 of all of the tribes of Israel. They are the representatives of the true church of this time, the ones that are to be protected through the great tribulation. Now, they've been through the great tribulation, but been protected from it in some place of protection, some place of safety where God has protected them. That is definitely prophesized. Although the Bible doesn't tell us just where that place will be. Nevertheless, "I heard the number of them which were sealed, and it was 144,000". That is the true church, which is a small church compared to the many churches that have been deceived all over this earth. They're sincere. They think they have the truth, but they have been misled. They have been deceived. Now, God is not going to blame them for the fact that they have not for what they have not known. Jesus said, "If you had known, you would have had no sin, but since you do know, your sin remains." So, they don't know they've been deceived. Nevertheless, after this, you find in verse nine (Revelation 7:9), "And behold, a great multitude which no man could number of all nations and kindred and people stood before the throne and before the Lamb clothed with white robes and palms in their hands and cried with a loud voice saying salvation to our God."

   Now, these are people that have just been converted, coming to verse 13 (Revelation 7:13), and one of the elders answered an angel, saying unto me, "What are these that are arrayed in white robes?" Because all of a sudden they had white robes put on them, which means the righteousness of saints has come on after or during the great tribulation. "What are these?" he said unto me. "These are they, which came out of the great tribulation and have washed their robes." In other words, repented of their sins and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb". They have not only repented, they have changed their way of life, and from here on out, they're going God's way and living God's way, and they too will be protected.

   There's much more, but I'm out of time, and I can't tell you the rest that I would like to go on and tell you about it. Nevertheless, there is a true church, and there have been many, many false churches. Jesus said, "I will build my church." He didn't say, "I will build my churches." "I will build many denominations, some Protestants, some Catholics on this, some that." Jesus said, "I will build my church," and He called it the little flock. And He said all in that church will be persecuted even as He was. They put Him to death because they didn't like what He preached. They don't like what I preach because I preach the same thing He did. If Jesus Christ were here today, He would preach the same thing that you hear me preach. Look into your Bible. Don't believe me. Look into your own Bible, and you will see that everything that I'm telling you comes right out of the Bible. It is God speaking, and it is the very message of God.

   Now, I'd like to send you a booklet on which is the true church. There's been so much deception, deceived people don't know they're deceived, they're going to have a chance. God is going to put the blame on Satan, the devil, where it belongs. But there is a true church that is undeceived. I'd like to send you a new booklet just now, coming off the press. "Where Is The True Church?" Where is it? Jesus didn't say, "I'll build my churches," all these denominations, some calling themselves after men, others after the kind of doctrine they have, others after the type of organization they have. The true church is the church of God. "Where Is The True Church?"

   Now, there's no charge. Everything we have is free. We want to give, not to get, we don't beg for money over the air either. And also, "The United States and Britain in Prophecy". If you haven't ever read that, although millions have, you should write in and get it. It's absolutely free. It's a thick book. It's the most astonishing thing you ever saw, and it tells you what is going to happen to the United States.

   Then "The Plain Truth", the finest magazine in the world today. And one of the great mass circulation magazines on the face of the earth, over 6 million copies going out. Millions are looking forward to it every month, articles all the way through it, discussing world news, explaining it according to Bible prophecy, there's no magazine like it, and we give you a year's subscription. There's no subscription price. We have nothing to sell. We don't beg for money. We give, and we give because we do love you. We don't just say it, we prove it. You do need these booklets.

   Just send your request to me, Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena, California. That's all the address you need. Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena California. The zip is 91123 or better yet. Just go to the telephone and dial a free number 800-423-4444. The area code is 800-423-4444. Or if you live in Alaska or Hawaii, you dial a different number collect and we'll pay for the call. We don't even ask you to do that. You dial first area code 818 and the number is 304-6111. You dial 818 collect then 304-6111. So, until next time, Herbert W Armstrong, goodbye, friends.

   For the free literature offered on this program, write Herbert W Armstrong Pasadena California 91123 in Canada Box 44, Vancouver BC or in the continental United States including California. You may call this toll-free number 800-423-4444 in Alaska and Hawaii call collect 818-304-6111. If the lines are busy, please try again. The preceding program and all literature were produced and sponsored by the Worldwide Church of God.

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Telecast Date: December 27, 1983
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